Wednesday, July 20, 2011

STEP LEAP

Thats one small step for a four letter word.
One giant leap, for all word kind.

42 years ago today, Neil Armstrong stepped out on the surface of the moon.

It was the fulfillment of the first part of President Kennedy's promise to send a man to the moon, and then to return him safely home.  Kennedy's goal was full of symbolism... and the eventual mission was just as symbolic.  Although most astronauts had a military background, it was intentional that Neil Armstrong, a civilian, was the first to set foot on the moon.  The mission patch contained an olive branch, symbolizing the mission was a peaceful one

Armstrong's words, "one giant leap for all mankind" represented that this was not just an American mission - it was a mission for everyone back on Earth, and the entire Earth was watching as he said those words.  Although the command module was named Columbia, a long-standing symbolic name for the United States, and the lander bore the name Eagle, a national symbol, the crew patch did not bear the names of the astronauts, symbolizing all the people behind the mission.  And although an American flag was left, so were messages from dozens of world leaders, momentos commemorating fallen American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts, and a plaque showing a map of the entire Earth with the inscription Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.